Peter Houston praises team spirit against Alloa

Falkirk's John Baird hammers home his hat-trick. Picture: SNS Group
Falkirk's John Baird hammers home his hat-trick. Picture: SNS Group
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Falkirk manager Peter Houston was keen to promote the team nature of his side’s 5-0 success over Alloa as opposed to allowing striker John Baird to again hog the headlines

Baird hit a hat-trick at Dumbarton three weeks ago and followed that up with a goal against St Mirren and the winner at Raith Rovers last weekend. On Saturday, the 30-year-old went home with another match ball after grabbing a first-half 
hat-trick.

Houston, however, wants all his Bairns to savour the win, which started when Baird drilled home a Mark Kerr pass on 12 minutes.

The striker notched his second 19 minutes later when he curled in a shot after Craig Sibbald had been blocked and it was 3-0 a minute from the break when Baird shot past Andy McNeil following a corner.

Bob McHugh converted a Luke Leahy cross and Leahy completed the scoring with a looping header nine minutes from time.

Houston said: “The entire team went about their business the right way. I was concerned that we were facing a side that would sit in and look to frustrate us and our fans. I knew it would be different to the Raith Rovers game, as they attacked us, and I was looking for the players to show that they could handle that.

“I wanted an early goal to force Alloa to come out and we got that.”

He added: “It is not just about John, as all the players did their jobs really well. To score five goals and keep a clean sheet is a very satisfying day.”

Alloa’s three-year stay in the second level of Scottish football is under severe threat and manager Danny Lennon admitted: “That was our worst display of the season. Falkirk played really well but we never did ourselves justice. We were a few bodies down but I cannot use that as an excuse.

“It was a derby game, but we did not show the qualities that we have. Whilst the players put in effort and application, the quality was nowhere near what we are capable of.”

Morton have moved into the top four at the expense of idle Raith after defeating Queen of the South 2-0 at Cappielow.

Morton had the better of the first half, but Luca Gasporotto headed a good chance over the bar and Denny Johnstone was robbed by Jordan Marshall just as he was about to shoot.

Johnstone had better fortune on 51 minutes when he accepted a pass from Michael Tidser and fired past Robbie Thomson.

Thomson denied Johnstone a second goal ten minutes later when he pushed his volley wide. However, there was nothing he could do when the striker lost his marker at the resultant corner and headed home.

Morton manager Jim Duffy said: “That is four wins in a row and only one goal conceded, which is good going for a side following promotion. Denny had a couple of great finishes and everyone at Morton will enjoy seeing us sitting fourth.”

Queen’s boss James Fowler said: “There was plenty of effort put in by the players. However, we never made the most of the openings that we had. We will dust ourselves down and be ready for next weekend. “